Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick also said that planning permission deadlines will be extended giving leeway to 400 residential schemes consisting of 24,000 homes that were due to expire by the end of this month.
He said that the planning appeals process would be sped up to help builders get back to work.
These fresh measures will allow builders to quickly agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council for a temporary period.
This will make it easier to follow public health guidance onsite and by staggering builders’ arrival times, public transport will be less busy and the risk of infection will be reduced.
Planning permissions due to expire between lockdown and the end of the year, will be extended to April 2021.
The Planning Inspectorate will be granted the ability to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and inquiries – at the same time when dealing with a planning appeal, enabling appeals to happen much faster.
Last year a pilot programme tested this approach and more than halved the time taken for appeal inquiries, from 47 weeks to 23 weeks.
Jenrick MP said: “New laws will enable us to speed up the pace of planning appeals and save hundreds of construction sites from being cancelled before they have a chance to get spades in the ground, helping to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs and create many others.
“Taken together, these measures will help to keep workers safe and our economy moving as we work together to bounce back from the pandemic.”